East Africa

It was a cold, very cold New Year’s Eve that sealed the deal between my friend Simona and I, to make the dream of seeing the African continent come to fruition. Though we went through Egypt on the way, we truly arrived in Africa when we stepped off the plane in Nairobi on september 13th.

After spending my birthday under the Nairobi sky, while camping in Mama Roche’s yard, we set off on a 7 hour bus ride to Malindi. From there a boat ride to the unforgettable island of Lamu, where time stood still.

It’s Muslim background and the simplicity of people’s lives is what invoked a certain unique beauty I had never come across before.

But it was the beauty of the people that struck me the most in East Africa; the colourful clothing of the Masai, their calmness and what seemed to me like an eternal peace with their vast surroundings. It inspired me to do some figurative painting, something I had never tried before. The warm tones and stark contrast, led me to trying out an Old Master’s glazing technique which I use to this day.

And the trip wouldn’t be complete without the five day challenging climb up Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which we arranged with a guide we met on the bus crossing from Kenya into Tanzanya.

Starting out on the savannah, we did the gradual trek through the rainforest up to 4000m and then a scramble up to¬†Gillman’s point to find that we still had a two hour walk through the stalactites of glacial ice to the actual highest point; Uhuru peak at 5895m (19341 ft). That last part of the trek was basically a four hour crawl, often on our hands and knees, feeling extremely sick all the way to the top.